What Options Are Available for Permanent Sterilization?
Permanent sterilization for women may be performed by tubal ligation or a minimally invasive hysteroscopic procedure called Essure.
Permanent sterilization for men consists of an in-office procedure called vasectomy.
The most important thing to realize about permanent contraception is that it is indeed permanent and intended to prevent pregnancy for the rest of your life. Studies have demonstrated that regret regarding permanent sterilization is highest in younger women, especially women who are less than 30 years old.
To help make the right decision for you, check out this information on long acting reversible contraception.
Bilateral tubal ligation is approximately 99% effective in preventing pregnancy and is effective immediately following the procedure.
If pregnancy does occur following tubal ligation, there is an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, a dangerous situation where the pregnancy develops outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube itself. In fact, up to 1/3 of post-tubal ligation pregnancies are ectopic pregnancies.
Tubal ligation may be performed at the time of c-section, immediately post partum after a vaginal delivery and via laparoscopic surgery.
At the time of c-section, tubal ligation is usually accomplished by tying off both fallopian tubes with dissolvable suture and excising a small portion of each tube. The tubal ligation procedure post partum is similar and performed through a small incision, typically about 1-2 inches in size, just below the belly button.
Laparoscopic tubal ligation requires general anesthesia and 1 or 2 tiny abdominal incisions, approximately ½ inch in length. During this laparoscopic procedure, both fallopian tubes are obstructed by either applying heat energy to burn a small portion of each tube or by applying a clip or ring across the tube. The exact method of laparoscopic tubal ligation may vary by surgeon.